Friday, June 28, 2013

Avery's First Birthday Party

While we were back in Greenville a couple weeks ago for my sister's wedding (post coming soon!), we decided to squeeze in a birthday party for Avery. Ryan was only in town for a couple days, and my family from MA was in town, so it seemed like a good time to do it. It made for a busy weekend, but it was so much fun to spend extra time with family and close friends.

I decided to go with a nautical themed party in navy blue and hot pink. My sister, Rachel, designed these gorgeous invitations for us.
Over the past couple months, I had been finding little things online and sending them to my parents' house where they were waiting or me when I arrived. We ended up having the party in the fellowship hall of our church because we needed a large air-conditioned space for 45 people! After the wedding reception, Rebekah and I dropped Avery off at home with Mom & Dad and headed down to the church to begin decorating. My sweet cousins, Jason, Olivia, and Meghan came and helped us as well.

I found an inexpensive pink and white banner with stickers to let you personalize the words. The navy blue and white chevron fabric was a steal off eBay.

The silverware was rolled up in navy and white striped napkins tied with string and a white lifesaver candy.

The photo collage was an idea I found on Pinterest a few months ago. And it is hard to see in the picture below, but we had the cutest navy/white and pink/white straws on the drink table.

Avery and the other little kids loved playing with the balloons before dinner. Grandpa is never far away!

We were so happy to finally meet Rebekah's boyfriend, Brett. Ryan and Brett were able to go golfing together after the reception and before the party. Avery loved Brett and actually put out her arms for him to hold her (a rare occurrence for her).

A sweet friend from church offered to come cook hamburgers and kielbasa for us. Everyone brought delicious side dishes, and the meal was absolutely delicious!

We had a small cake for Avery, and she actually blew out her candle after we sang to her ... and then clapped for herself! We decided to forego letting her smash the cake and eat it, mostly because it was the end of the evening and I didn't want to clean up bits of cake and frosting from the carpet for the next several hours. Plus, she hadn't slept much during the day, and I didn't need all that sugar interrupting her nighttime sleep. :)

I tried a new technique called the Frozen Buttercream Transfer method to decorate her cake. It obviously needs some more work, but it made for an inexpensive, personalized cake.

For everyone else, we served frozen raspberry lemonade pies (with cute wooden spoons) garnished with raspberries and fresh mint, and mini fruit pizzas (sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting topped with blueberries, strawberries, and kiwi).

This was the first time that all the great-grand kids on my side of the family were able to be together. Tanner, Halle, and Avery are only 6 months apart, and I know they will continue to enjoy playing together and become great friends!

We are so thankful to everyone who came to celebrate with Avery and for the impact that they have on her life already. I had little cards for everyone to write a note to Avery since she won't remember this birthday. She has the sweetest collection of memories and prayers for her to cherish as she gets older.

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